‘US cannot win against Taliban, if it loses information war’ (Lead)

May 13th, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 13 (IANS) Saying we are losing the “information war” against the Taliban, Richard Holbrooke, US special representative, has said winning the information war was key to the success of American strategy in Pakistan as it faces a resurgent Taliban.

“Concurrent with the insurgency is an information war. We are losing that war,” he said while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday on the US policy for Pakistan.

Lamenting that the US is falling behind in delivering accurate information about what is happening in Pakistan, he said: “The Taliban have unrestricted, unchallenged access to the radio, which is the main means of communication in an area where literacy is around 10 percent for men and less than 5 percent for women…

“We don’t have jamming; we don’t try to override; we don’t do counter-programming,” he said.

“We cannot win the war, however you define ‘win’, if we cede the airways to people who present themselves as false messengers of a prophet, which is what they do. And we need to combat it,” Holbrooke said.

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